What is a studio school?

The simple answer is – yet another kind of academy (it seems).

The Department says this:

“Studio Schools are an innovative new model of 14 to 19 year-old educational provision. They are small schools – typically with around 300 pupils – delivering mainstream qualifications through project based learning.

Students work with local employers and a personal coach, and follow a curriculum designed to give them the employability skills and qualifications they need in work, or to take up further education.”

The Studio Schools Trust says this:

“Studio Schools are a new type of state school model, designed to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to succeed in life and work. They are at the forefront of innovation in the English education system, offering a bold new approach to learning rooted in the real world.

Five years in the making, Studio Schools have been developed in partnership with local and national employers, the country’s leading education agencies, government, as well as local partners from up and down the country. September 2010 was a landmark moment for the project with the opening of the first Studio Schools in the world.

In the coming years new schools will open across the country and, as the map to the left outlines, we have been approached by potential partners in every region of England. The Studio Schools Trust has bold plans for Studio Schools and, working closely with our local partners, we aim to establish a large network of schools across Britain.

It is not clear but, at heart (and as a matter of law), they seem to be academies.

That means they operate using (and are defined by) funding agreements.

But, as far as I can see, there is no published model funding agreement for studio schools.

But it should be available under the Freedom of Information Act.

That said, the issues about enforcing the funding agreement are likely to be the same as for other types of academy.

Although, like other academies, they will of course be subject to the general rules on discrimination including disability discrimination and subject to the equality duty and required to act compatibly with human rights.

But other details, like the law on admissions, exclusions, the curriculum, and so on will all depend on their particular funding agreement. If anyone has a copy of one and wants to share it (or any other information about the legal aspects of studio schools), that would be very helpful.

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